This Day in History
Green Corn Ceremony of the Creek

On a day like today in the 1500’s...

With the other cultural developments come a body of social and religious festivals and practices. One of the most interesting of these was the Green Corn Ceremony - a combination of New Year’s and Thanksgiving Day - practiced not only by the Creek, pictured here, but by all the southeastern tribes. Designed to celebrate the ripening of that corn which was the basic food for the region and marking also the passing of the old year, the ceremony was attended by elaborate dances and feasts; by fasting, celibacy and other forms of self-denial; by amnesty and forgiveness (even of debts); by a general refurbishing of the village - both the houses and the public buildings. It would be difficult to find a more complex, more complete, celebration of both atonement and redemption in any modern religion

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.